••• On a tip from A., I headed over to West Beach to verify whether The Neighborhood Bar had indeed closed. A bartender at the nearby Brewhouse confirmed that it had, and then there was the pile of barstools on the street, a dead website, and a listing for the business. It opened in 2006, from what I see online. UPDATE: The building is for sale (and in escrow); it includes Rodeo Room, which hopefully has a lease that lets it stay even if the building trades.
••• The Independent profiled chef Sergei Simonov, who took over at Loquita six months ago. I’ve been hearing a lot of really good reports from the restaurant lately.
••• The new Juice Ranch outpost in Solvang is shooting to soft-open this week.
••• Always good to see more jazz in town: Cougar Estrada’s Lounge Trio plays at Revolver on November 17.
••• A friend turned me on to the Tuscan white bean and kale soup from Organic Soup Kitchen, which I knew was a good-deed organization (the “mission is to provide metabolic oncology nutrition and food security to support the health and wellness of low-income seniors and other individuals with cancer or chronic illness”), but I didn’t know I could go buy the soup myself. The retail counter is technically at 608 Anacapa Street Suite C, but what the website could be more clear about is that you access it via the parking garage entrance on Cota, then proceed to the back. It’s open weekdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
••• Slow Burn, a “traveling restaurant by chefs Andy Doubrava and Tiffani Ortiz” from L.A., stops by Bar Le Côte in Los Olivos on December 5-6, Lompoc’s Fortified Tattoo on December 11, and the Cuyama Buckhorn on December 31 and January 1. Doubrava is most recently of Rustic Canyon; Ortiz was chef of Plant Food and Wine, Native, and Olivetta.
••• I finally went and checked out Sweetie’s, the new ice cream shop on the Mesa. It’s cute! I hadn’t realized that it also has frozen yogurt and toppings. And I relearned the lesson that when it comes to ice cream, go with what you know and love. I should’ve had my favorite, peppermint stick (kudos to McConnells for making it all year long), instead of the new salted pretzel crunch.
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